Sunday, November 29, 2009

Book Signing in Georgetown, Texas - Hill Country Book Store.

If you've never visited the quaint town of Georgetown, Texas, you've missed out. It's just down the road  from me on I 35 and we pass through on our way to Austin and San Antonio. I've always wanted to stop, but seems we're always in a hurry. I even set my heroine in Investment of the Heart, Hallie Barron, in Georgetown. Hallie is a widow and owns a dress shop on the square called Stepping Up.

The square surrounds a historical courthouse and is lined with a variety of shops with something for all ages. If you visit, don't look for Stepping Up though, as it's from my imagination only. Not interested in shopping, then just walk the square and study the architecture of these old buildings. That's a treat in itself. Have lunch or dessert in one of the cafes. Visit Hill Country Book Store and browse the shelves. Stop in at Georgetown's Winery and sample their products. I couldn't imagine liking chocolate cherry port but came home with a bottle. It's their Jubilee Reserve. Delicious!

Saturday November 21, 2009, was my first visit to historic Georgetown.  I was fortunate enough to have a book signing at Hill Country Book Store, a privately owned bookstore that is reminisant of the neighborhood book stores of our past. Owner Margarite Holt and her staff will make you feel welcome and help you discover that special book you're looking for. She has an excellent selection of children's reading material, excellent stocking stuffers for the little ones in your family.

Here is a picture of Margarite (on the right) and Linda, one of her staff members (on the left). Thank you ladies for making me feel welcome and my book signing comfortable.

What a surprise to see my good friend Melanie and her daughter Katy. Thank you for coming. I look forward to hearing how you liked the books you bought.
I will have another signing at Hill Country Book Store soon. Watch my blog and website for the date. If you're in the area stop by and say hello.

Happy Reading and Writing!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cruising from Galveston - Last Day at Sea.

This is what the water looked like early into our cruise. It doesn't look very rocky but evidently it was enough to make many people sea sic. I was fine as long as I didn't look at the oceans movement too long. Looking at the horizon helped settle my head and stomach.

Friday flew by in a blur. I paid the $24.00 to spend an hour on the internet checking emails, loops, etc. Then visited the photo gallery to pick up pictures I'd ordered. Here's the one I had made in hopes of using it on my website but it's rather formal. Onboard is a great place to have pictures made as they're only $23.00. This photographer had an opening so I stepped in line. Others have different staging and might have had something less formal but we were in a hurry to get to dinner.

Would you believe I didn't make it to the casino once. I love to play the slots but for some reason wasn't compelled to play. Larry went to a Veterans gathering. I considered playing Bingo, but Larry isn't much for games. I wish the ship's cruise director would scheduled some educational activities. I'd love to attend something on historical facts about our destinations, spotlights on other Carnival ports, or writing workshops. Heck, I'd love to give a writing workshop and would for free. They did have a wine tasting and a scrapbooking workshop. I heard at one time they'd had one on needlework. I know a lot of people like to scrapbook, but it's not an interest of mine. I do like to knit and crochet but doubt I'd attend a workshop as I'm pretty skilled at the art. I did stop in the Animal Art towel folding class for a couple of minutes but couldn't imagine where I'd use the skill.

Look how calm the sea was Friday evening at sunset. A major difference for us landlubbers. Those that had been sea sick finally got to enjoy the cruise. It was strange for it to get dark so early. Adjusting to this new time change is difficult for me. We had late seating for dinner so were able to enjoy sitting on the balcony until time to leave at 8:00 PM.

The Wild Rose Press author friends. Fleeta Cunningham, me, and Tiffany Green.

Here are all the writers, except one, on the grand staircase. A couple of people are journalists and some authors are in the beginning phase of submissions. We had a wonderful time and hope to make this a yearly function with more people attending each year.

I hope you've enjoyed my travel musings.

Thanks for Reading and Writing!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cruising from Galveston - Cozumel

At 8:00 AM Thursday we arrived in Cozumel. Here our ship Carnival's Ecstasy is docked alongside Carnival's Liberty at one of Cozumel's three piers. For our shore excursion we took the Cozumel Highlights and Shopping tour. Our first stop was Discover Cozumel Park which displayed unique works of art and scale models of famous Mexican landmarks including Mayan settlements.

Next we visited Cedral, the oldest settlement in Cozumel. The community features the island’s first church as well as a small, but significant ancient Mayan ruin. Vendors displayed a variety of wares but most popular was black coral jewelry from the 25 mile long black coral reef along the coast of Cozumel. The tiger eye jewelry caught my eye and I bought a beautiful necklace.

This is Punta Sur, one of the beaches in Cozumel. Limestone rock formations make for great photos. The view was beautiful, the sand full of shells, and the sky blue. Vendors in grass roofed huts sold fresh coconut, pineapple, and a variety of souvenirs.

After taking pictures at the beach, we went to the Tequila Factory. Tequila isn't distilled at this location. The blue agave is grown here. Plants in different stages of growth lined the property out front and we learned an agave plant must be ten years old before it's ready for harvest. Inside the factory we were able to sample a variety of tequila flavors--blue agave, amaretto, coffee, orange, cherry and several others. Then there were the three stronger varieties. I tried the clear white only as my head was feeling fuzzy headed. We bought a bottle of the blue agave pictured above. It's a mix so not full strength and is delicious sipped. We're saving it for a special occasion, probably when our grown children are home for Christmas.

Before heading back to our ship, we had forty-five minutes to shop downtown. We'd received a packet of coupons for free charms, a charm bracelet, tanzanite earrings, and discounts on jewelry and food. Unfortunately we didn't have time to make full use of the packet. I was worn out from all the walking so we sat across the street and enjoyed the view of the water and the breeze until the bus picked us up to take us back to the ship.

Though tired, we had a great time. One day in each area is not near enough, but ships rarely stay overnight.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed my travel musings. Leave a comment and tell me what your idea of a dream vacation would be. I've always wanted to visit Ireland and Australia. Maybe one day I'll get to. My next post will be about our last day at sea.

Happy Reading and Writing!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Book Signing Cruise - Galveston to Progresso, Mexico

When we left Galveston on Monday, November 9, 2009, the waves were rocking Carnival's Ecstasy. We sat on our balcony and watched the swells with their white caps. I know for those who've been on really rocky waters, these little swells were nothing to write home about, but to some landlubbers, they created havoc. Many on board were sick until we docked in Progresso on Wednesay morning. My husband and I were lucky and stayed hale and hearty the entire trip.

Here are Larry and I on the dock in Progresso on the Yucatan Peninsula. If you look at the lowest row of balconys, just above the "I" in Carnival, is our cabin. We enjoyed sitting out and watching the stars come out.

  Dzibilchaltun, one of the Mayan ruins.

Mexican dancers at Rancho Tierra Bonita where we enjoyed a buffet lunch before watching Mexican charros display their roping skills on horseback.

Wednesday evening we had our book signing party at the Neon Bar. Pictured here are myself, author for Champagne Books and The Wild Rose Press; Tiffany Green, The Wild Rose Press author; and Fleeta Cunningham, The Wild Rose Press author.

Though we were unable to sell books to anyone other than those in our cruising party, we had a great time and met new people. I hope you'll join me on Tuesday when I'll blog about our day in Cozomel.

Thanks for stopping by. Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered into my drawing.
Happy Reading and Writing.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Meet author Sandra K. Marshall

I'm pleased to have my good friend Sandra K. Marshall as my guest today. Welcome Sandy and may you sell many books. You know I'll be ordering my copy today.

Sandra K. Marshall worked for a major airline for thirty-six years and did extensive travel during that period. In 1999 she retired to write full time and seriously worked toward publication.

She had an idea for a book that developed into a trilogy. To write these books, she did research by working for nine months at a local riverboat casino. This was a fun job for a while, and it was after I left there and started my first book that I knew I had enough information for more books. Fortunately, there were secondary characters who wanted their stories told to.

Addiction, the second book in the trilogy is being released November 6th by Eirelander Publishing.


Two men are after the same woman but for very different reasons.

Dark-haired beauty, Jolene Dubois has a serious problem, and it's not just battling alcoholism. Late at night, she receives whispered calls. "Jolene, I want you. I'm coming for you." Shivers climb up her spine and ice flowed in her veins. What does he want? Who is it? She must figure it out before she trusts the wrong person.

Jake Farrell, the handsome rogue is an operator with women, but is he hiding something dark and sinister under his cheery facade. The detective, Andy Martin, who investigated her father's murder, continues to ask her out. Les Voodré, an alcoholic she met at AA follows her everywhere, and Ron Keisler, her AA sponsor is always there when she needs him. Could her caller be one of these men?

To further complicate her life, she fights a host of addictions, alcoholism, smoking, gambling and sex. Jolene is determined to beat the alcohol and to stay out of the clutches of the fiend who phones her.


Sunday, September 23, 2007
Alone at the White Chapel Memorial Gardens in Gladstone, Missouri, Jolene Dubois stared sightlessly down at her father’s gray, flat headstone. Memories of her father and mother arguing when she was four years old still haunted her. He’d stomped through the house slamming doors and never came back.

His abandonment had left her bewildered and lost. Even at twenty-six she still numbed the pain with alcohol. The pressure from her sister and brother to straighten up made her even more reckless. It wasn’t until her mother told her to stop feeling sorry for herself that she went into rehab.

The cold seeped into her limbs, and her gaze returned to focus on the words written on the gravestone. Robert Dubois, born 1950, died 2006. No words of love. Nothing good could be said about him, so he was given a simple inscription to the shell of a man.

It was the way she felt, empty. She gazed at the large oak trees sightlessly. What would be inscribed on hers?


At church today, the priest talked about absolution, and his homily reminded her of the step she hadn’t finished with AA. She had to forgive herself, and in order to do that she had to pardon her father for all his sins.

She gripped her brown leather purse and glanced at the overcast sky. How could she let him off so easily? Yet, she must. She didn’t have the right to judge him, or herself. Her gaze returned to her father’s grave.

For weeks, she’d gone to church and begged God to have mercy on her, but didn’t believe He could. How could He, when she couldn’t absolve herself for not protecting her friend?

Not until this morning, when Monsignor Bud spoke as if directly to her, had she thought she might be able to forgive her father. Kneeling in the mound of dirt by the stone, she brushed the dry fall leaves aside and rubbed her fingers over the name Robert Dubois, the inscription smooth in its newness.

Oblivious to everything except her self-hate, she remembered the night she’d been passed out in the closet while her father raped her friend. With trembling fingers she swiped at the tears dangling from her lashes. “Daddy, I forgive you.” She leaned her head on one jean-clad knee and wept.

After a few minutes, she realized she was wetter than just her tears would make her. She lifted her face to the sky, rain pouring on her, hair dripping with water. Oh God, help me.

She rose slowly, her thoughts on God with the knowledge He cried with her and this was his way to show her He forgave her. Coming here to forgive her father had been the right thing to do. Drenched, she walked slowly towards her sports car.

If only she could forgive herself so easily. “But - I can’t - let you off, Jolene,” she whispered. The cold pierced her body, and she clutched her olive green jacket around her shivering body.

You are guilty.

You can purchase Addiction at Eirelander Publishing and contact Sandra by clicking on these links.

Thank you for sharing with us today, Sandra. Readers, leave Sandra a comment or ask her a question and you'll be entered in my monthly ebook drawing.

Happy Reading and Writing!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

ChristmaSin - Welcome Guest author Ed Williams

Meet guest Ed Williams. Ed works professionally in the Human Resources management field. His life took a decided turn in 1995 when he brought a home computer and began writing down wild old stories about his upbringing in Juliette, Georgia. He had so much fun putting these stories to paper that he worked at them for almost a year before tiring of the effort. These stories, through an unusual series of events, were published in 1998 in hardback under the title, Sex, Dead Dogs, and Me: The Juliette Journals.

After a year, Ed's original publisher from Texas was so deluged with orders that he decided to quit printing the book and returned its rights back to Ed. In December of 2002, Southern Charm Press out of Atlanta purchased the rights, and published it under the title, Sex, Dead Dogs, and Me: The Paperback! Ed's second book was released in 2003, it was titled Rough As A Cob: More of The Juliette Journals. It was published by River City Publishing in both hardback and paperback formats. In 2007, one of Ed's stories, Sally the Screamer, was included in Jefferson Press' Southern humor anthology, Southern Fried Farce. And scheduled for release in November of 2009 is Ed's first novel, a wild Southern boy Christmas story entitled ChristmaSin'.

Ed has twice appeared on the Georgia Public Radio program, Cover to Cover, he has written a syndicated weekly newspaper column called Free Wheelin', and has won four prestigious online reader's poll awards for his books. His MySpace page garnered over 24,000 readers and 170,000 plus profile hits during its one year run. He has spoken to groups all over the southeast, and has been compared to some of Georgia's most noted humorists.

Ed and his family currently reside in Macon, Georgia.

Mainstream Fiction/Humor
ISBN: 978-1-926681-56-6
150 pages  $3.99  Purchase at Champagne Books

Tired of sugar plums and sit-com Christmases? Ready for something real, wild, and kickin'? Try reading ChristmaSin', a deeply Southern Christmas Epistle that'll have you wishing Christmas really was every day!
Back Cover Blurb:

Christmas isn't just about sugar plum fairies and reindeer dancing across the sky. It can also be about red clay chunk wars, cock fighting, dead people who may really not be, and more! Get set for a wild, wild Christmas ride when you read ChristmaSin', Southern Outlaw Author Ed Williams' take on what a true Christmas in a small, rural Southern town is really all about! Learn about Christmas miracles happening in the most unlikely of settings, the early '70s in tiny Juliette, Georgia. It's a novel that could be true, in some places actually is, and one that will both warm the heart and tickle the funny bone!


For me, today is gonna be busy. I’ve gotta make a quick run over to Jenny’s this afternoon in order for us to exchange gifts, and then I’ve gotta get back here in time for dinner. On Christmas Eve we usually eat right at six pm, and then we have this little family-type traditional thing that we do. We all go into our living room right after dinner, fire up the fireplace, and then sip on coffee or eggnog together. That’s pretty nice, ain’t it?

There’s also the slight chance that if we beg, plead, or just plain get on Mama’s nerves enough that she might let us open one Christmas gift. Underline the word “might.” We’ll be really lucky if that happens, though, because Ed Jr. and my mom believe in opening gifts on Christmas morning only. Mama says we do that to be sure we celebrate Jesus’ birthday when we’re supposed to. Ed Jr. says that we open them then so that he doesn’t have to listen to any pissing and moaning about us not having any gifts left to open. He adds that if anyone has a right to a peaceful Christmas, it’s him, as he has to cut down and put up the tree, deal with Mama’s relatives, and pay the tab for our entire Christmas. Not to mention the fact that he’s a Korean veteran. You’ve got to admit his logic is not bad, and at least it’s pretty original.

Thank you for sharing with us today, Ed. Readers, leave Ed a comment or ask him a question and you'll be entered in my monthly ebook drawing. To contact Ed, use these links. or

Happy Reading and Writing!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Flames On The Sky Contest Winner/October ebook Winner!

The winner of the amber and sterling silver earrings is Shirley. Contratulations, Shirley! Email your snail mail address and I'll get them in the mail. My address is

October's ebook winner is Donna B. Donna. Email your choice of my ebooks at and I'll send it to you.

Thanks to everyone who entered my Flames On The Sky contest and to those who left comments on my blog posts. Please keep your comments coming.

Happy Reading and Writing!